Man City's on-pitch arguments show why they are still in the title race and Liverpool are not

It wasn't quite Mo Salah and Jurgen Klopp, but Manchester City's body language in the first half at Nottingham Forest was hardly harmonious.

Pep Guardiola was more animated than usual, and was taking the time during stoppages to chastise players who were giving the ball away - whether it was Kyle Walker, Josko Gvardiol or Rodri. At one point, after Gvardiol had given City the lead, the Croatian raced into the box, missed the header completely and Forest then almost scored by targeting the space he had vacated in defence.

Guardiola was livid, asking his bench what on earth Gvardiol thought he was doing. At the break, after Forest spurned two sitters from a combined total of seven yards, Guardiola looked furious as he took off to the dressing room. If the documentary cameras are filming this season, then there may be another City Ground row on the cards given the stoney faces among the Blues contingent.

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The mood among his players was hardly much better. Nathan Ake and Rodri were involved in a disagreement over something - but not one that strayed into the concerning kind of argument - and Jack Grealish was unhappy as he spoke to the fourth official. This was a game City were leading, but their reaction wouldn't have backed up the scoreline. Possibly because they knew their lead was fortunate. Chris Wood inexplicably missed his second sitter of the game shortly after the restart, and Guardiola was getting increasingly agitated on the very edge of his technical area as his side struggled for control.

He had tried to calm things down by taking off the ineffective Jeremy Doku for the more calming presence of Mateo Kovacic, but the Blues were still so nervy. Maybe they needed the 'second or third gear' of Phil Foden that was on display at Brighton, but Foden was missing through illness.

In this fixture last season, the Blues dominated but couldn't find the important second goal and Forest made them pay with a late equaliser. Guardiola called it their best performance of the season to that day and they responded with a winning run all the way to winning the title. But for all the pre-match talk here of learning from that, it was a remarkably similar game.

City weren't as dominant as they were last February, but they were ahead and Forest were still in the game as long as the Blues didn't find a second. That day, City players watched Arsenal come back to strike a huge win in the title race from their phones in the dressing room.

They might have done the same on Sunday as Arsenal added three points to their tally just before kick-off at the City Ground. City's first half showing in Nottingham suggested nerves in a must-win game, as well tiredness following another two-day turnaround between games.

The comparisons to last year's game were building, and with every City fumble Forest's encouragement grew. That was until Guardiola's changes eventually paid off. He had introduced Haaland, back from injury, and the Norwegian scored after Kovacic fed De Bruyne in a new, narrower system to assist the vital second goal that eluded them 14 months ago.

Guardiola was calmer after that, but still not calm. He never is. He complained over the 92nd-minute award of a free-kick to Forest and continued until the whistle. The manager opted against his usual applause to the travelling fans at full time as he hung around the tunnel for a few moments before heading to the dressing room alone.

With Arsenal continuing to put the pressure on City know they must win at all costs, regardless of how it happens. They will have known first-hand how three points are not guaranteed at the City Ground - with Guardiola's nerves and the half-time arguments all adding to the theory that the players know just how close they are to the title. And how far away they are too.

They can't afford a slip-up and were thankful to Forest's poor finishing to ensure that didn't happen on Sunday. Guardiola's elite in-game changes also turned a game devoid of any control into a canter by full time.

As Liverpool bowed out of the title race on Saturday, with their star man and outgoing manager at odds with each other and their captain questioning the desire among their squad, City channeled their on-pitch frustrations in all the right ways on Sunday. That is why they are still favourites for the title with four games to go.